Billy Graham once said that gratitude is one of the greatest Christian virtues; and ingratitude, one of the most vicious sins. I would like to share with you two interesting stories about this virtue and vice.
Winston Churchill, once narrated a story which he titled “The Height Of Ingratitude.” According to the story, a little boy was playing on a pie, and all of a sudden he fell off the pier into the water. He did not know how to swim and was in serious danger of drowning. A very kind-hearted young soldier saw this, and he immediately jumped off the pier and swam towards the little boy. He put the boy on his shoulders and brought him back up to the pier quite safely. This young man saved the boy’s life.
The boy had been playing with other little boys, but his parents were nowhere to be found. The soldier drove the child to his parents’ home [ads1]and left the boy there. The young man did not even think of receiving any reward. He was a very kind-hearted person, and he was extremely happy that he was able to save the life of this little boy.
A few days later, the boy’s parents came to look for the soldier. Everybody was helping them look for him, because they thought that the parents had come to give him a reward for saving their child. Finally they found the soldier working at the pier.
The parents approached the young man, and he immediately said, “You have to come to me? Please, please, I do not need any reward. I am so happy that I was able to save your child’s life. That is my greatest reward. You do not have to give me anything.”
The father and mother said, “No! We have not come here to give you anything. We have come to ask you for our son’s hat. Where is it?”
The young man was shocked. He said, “I tried to save your son’s life and I did save his life. Now you are asking me for his hat?”
“Yes,” replied the parents.
How powerful ingratitude can be! The young man had saved the life of the parent’s only child, and they were asking for his hat! Instead of giving the soldier a reward or even a simple ‘Thank you,’ they were asking for the boy’s hat!
They demanded, “What did you do with our son’s hat? What is wrong with you? We want to know where the hat is!”
This is a sad story, isn’t it? But brace yourself for another downhearted account. A few weeks ago I heard a former appointee of former President Mahama making some scathing remarks about the former leader. This is not an isolated case; there have been many reports of this kind of discreditable lack of gratitude towards this fine gentleman ever since the NDC lost power in the 2016 elections.
Interestingly, these are people who tremendously benefitted from the Mahama government. On the other hand, there are many others who were not fortunate to get appointments; and though are going through hardships of epic proportions, are still supporting the cause of H.E. John Dramani Mahama with passion. Paul Bamikole said, “Ingratitude makes a man an animal or even worse because some animals have a way of saying thank you when you do them a favour. . .” I agree with him and I will prove it.
In 1924, Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo, took Hachiko, a golden brown Akita dog as a pet. During his owner’s life, Hachiko greeted him at the end of each day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return. The professor had suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and died, never returning to the train station where Hachiko was waiting. Each day for the next nine years, nine months and fifteen days, Hachiko awaited Ueno’s return, appearing precisely when the train was due at the station, and anxiously scanned through the disembarking passengers for his master!
It is miserable that some of my colleagues have chosen to bite the very hand that fed them. This is sinful and dangerous, and the earlier they repent the better. Psalm 17: 13 of the Bible says: “Evil will never leave the house of one who pays back evil for good.”
I already have too many transgressions, and don’t want to add the sin of ingratitude against H.E. John Dramani Mahama. At least he gave me a job, and I must be exceedingly grateful. The loyalty in me wants to break loose. I thirst to emulate Hachiko the loyal and faithful dog; and I pledge my unstinting allegiance to the young man from Bole, no matter the cost because that is what friends are for.
by Anthony Obeng Afrane